Jumaat, 24 Januari 2014

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The Star Online: Nation

Enhance skills to become more marketable, students told

Posted: 23 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

SERDANG: Students must take advantage of the various training programmes to acquire new skills that can make them more attractive to the employment market.

"Training institutes must play their role by coming up with modules that are suitable and meet the market needs to guarantee the employability of their graduates," said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the country was in need of skilled workers to drive its economic transformation programmes.

Najib added that as a country aiming to be a high income nation, the development of skilled workers was as vital as economic growth.

The Prime Minister pointed out that Malaysia had set a target to have 33% of its workforce in the high skill category in 2015; and to increase the number to 50% by 2020.

He added that the number of high skilled workers in the country was relatively low at 28% last year and the Government had undertaken initiatives to provide skills and training to those entering the employment market.

"In the 2014 Budget, the Government has, among others, allocated RM200mil to upgrade the National Youth Skills Institute (IKBN) and provided RM178mil to the Human Resource Department's training institute," he said at the presentation of the Prime Minister's Golden Hand Awards yesterday.

Najib said Human Resources Development Berhad had also set aside RM400mil for registered companies to send their staff for upskilling and re-skilling programmes.

The Prime Minister said skills competitions such as this one provides vocational students with a platform to showcase their skills, creativity and talent.

The Prime Minister's Golden Hand Awards is an annual skills competition among students from training institutes and is jointly organised by the Human Resources and Works Ministries.

Muhammad Hafiz Brahim of Pusat Latihan Teknologi Tinggi in Malacca and Muhammad Izzat Sulaiman, a student with Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi Mara in Rembau, Negri Sembilan, emerged winners of the award.

Fireworks worth RM400,000 seized in two incidents

Posted: 23 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Police confiscated RM100,000 worth of fireworks and three parang during a raid at a store near a morning market along Jalan Jering.

The five-man raiding party, led by Pandamaran police station chief Insp Mohd Rushdam Mohd Yusoff, surrounded the premises at 11.45pm on Wednesday and broke through the door after repeated calls and knocks went unanswered.

"The store was vacant. Officers found boxes filled with firecrackers of different kinds, which we believed was to be sold for the Chinese New Year," said South Klang OCPD ACP Kamarul Mamat.

"We are working with the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) to ascertain the identity of the owners of the house as it was rented out by the MPK."

He said the firecrackers were smuggled into the country about a week ago.

In Tanah Merah, Kelantan police seized a container carrying 222 boxes of illegal fireworks worth RM300,000 at a roadblock in Jalan Padang Siam here on Wednesday.

District OCPD Deputy Supt of Police Abdul Aziz Mahmud said there were 11 types of fireworks found in the container.

"The suspect had driven the lorry container from Kuala Lumpur. He is believed to be doing part-time work to carry the contraband to be distributed in Ipoh," he added.

Government urged to relook NEM in quest for developed status

Posted: 23 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government should relook the New Economic Model (NEM) to drive Malaysia towards achieving developed nation status, suggested Global Movement of Moderates chief executive officer Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said the NEM was lacking as it was not inclusive enough.

"The Government will do well to relaunch the NEM," Saifuddin said at the Malaysia Strategic Outlook Conference organised by the Asian Strategic and Leadership Institute (Asli).

He was on a panel which discussed "Malaysia's new politics – What next after GE13 and party elections?". Also on the panel were former MCA vice-president Gan Ping Sieu, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar and Johor DAP chief Liew Chin Tong.

Nurul Izzah said that when the NEM was first unveiled to MPs in 2010, the Opposition was unnerved as there wasn't much of it that could be criticised.

"But then Perkasa intervened, and (the origi­nal) NEM was shelved," she claimed.

Saifuddin also spoke of the need for more government and economic transformations, and hoped to see bipartisan governance.

"I would love to see the Government and the Opposition sitting at the table to discuss fundamental policies such as education and delinea­tion of electoral constituencies.

"Also, can we migrate from race-based ­policies to needs-based policies?" he asked.

Gan stressed on the importance of a shared vision to achieve the nation's destiny.

He also said Barisan Nasional has not been "inclusive enough" and that the Barisan ­decision-making process was flawed.

"If your own allies (component parties) don't buy in your reforms, how are you going to convince others?" he said.

Liew expected the state of economy to be a hot topic among members of the public this year, saying the Government was not pursuing the right policies.

"All the price hikes will diminish the disposa­ble income of the bottom 60% (of wage earner­s)," he said, adding that it would be timely to have a full-time Finance Minister.

Currently, Najib also holds the position of Finance Minister.

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